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The How-To Lounge: Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination is a trait we all possess, but at times abuse. I am not one to prolong the inevitable, but I constantly find myself surrounded by people who do. Procrastination can go far deeper than sheer laziness, and can actually result in serious consequences. For example, putting off paying your bills will result in late fees, constantly being late for dinner will in time, lead you to be perceived as unreliable, and turning in work projects a day late could make your career suffer.

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We all have our own reasons for procrastinating, but you might be surprised to learn about some of the major reasons:

  • Some procrastinate due to fear of failure. Those people would rather not even try at all in fear of not being able to live up to their peers' expectations
  • Some procrastinators fear success. They worry their peers will single them out and envy them, and some worry about never being able to live up to their own prior accomplishments
  • Other procrastinators crave control and enjoy the thrill of pulling through at the last minute

Whatever your reasons for procrastinating, here are some tips to help nip this behavior in the bud.

  • Prioritizing is key. Carry a note pad in your purse and make to do lists. Visually seeing the tasks at hand, in order of importance may help
  • Do the least desired task first to get it out of your way; you are bound to feel better about the rest of your day once the daunting task is completed
  • Don't spend too much time over-planning, in doing so, you're just procrastinating even more
  • Make sure to take regular breaks in your day so you don't get overwhelmed. Make sure to step outside and get some fresh air to clear your head
  • Get rid of the clutter. If your desk or home is messy, it will just distract you
  • Make appointments on your e-mail and or Blackberry calendar for reminders
  • Concentrate on one task at a time. Don't have too many papers on your desk, or too many windows on your computer open at the same time. Remember, your e-mails can wait a few minutes to be answered
  • Don't spread yourself too thin. Women are oftentimes pleasers and have a hard time saying no, which will inevitably lead to not enough time for all of your commitments

I hope these tips help you the next time you have the urge to put off that daunting task you've been trying to avoid. Remember, don't let yourself get bogged down with the small stuff-- keep your eye ahead.

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